About 400 species of willow grow around the world, mostly in
the northern hemisphere. They range in size from low creepers to tall trees. Aspirin
was originally derived from willow bark but it caused some health problems.
Later, a synthetic aspirin provided the benefits of willow extract without the
worst side effects. The Carolina
willow is one of five species native to Florida.
Its narrow leaves have white undersides. Tiny flowers are held in catkins.
Small, cottony seeds are blown around on the spring breezes. Viceroy butterfly
caterpillars feed on the leaves of willows.
See this plant in wet areas around campus, including the nature trails by Lake Oneida.
Often found in disturbed areas as a shrubby plant but can grow into a tree about 30 feet tall or more.
Light: full sun to part shade
Water: a moist or irrigated site is necessary, tolerates temporary flooding
Soil: moist, poorly drained soils, no other specific requirements
This native plant is easy to grow in sunny, wet areas of
In nature, willows quickly colonize washouts on the banks of streams and
rivers. It can spread aggressively in a garden.
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